Mel­bourne Cup up to $8m

The West Australian - - RACING - MATHEW TOO­GOOD

The Mel­bourne Cup has re­ceived an­other prize money in­jec­tion, with this year’s edi­tion of Aus­tralia’s most fa­mous race to be worth $8 mil­lion.

Vic­to­ria Rac­ing Club chair­man Amanda El­liott made the an­nounce­ment yes­ter­day, with the purse in­creas­ing by $700,000 from $7.3 mil­lion last year.

The con­nec­tions of the win­ner will pocket $4.4 mil­lion, but El­liott says the prize money in­crease, which is the sec­ond boost in as many years for the cup, is in no way a knee­jerk re­ac­tion to re­cent prize money hikes in NSW for its re­vamped rich spring pro­gram.

In say­ing that, she took a swipe at Rac­ing NSW chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter V’landys, call­ing him “a silly lit­tle man mak­ing silly de­ci­sions” over the in­tro­duc­tion of big­money races in Syd­ney which clash with Mel­bourne’s spring car­ni­val.

“It is in no way a re­ac­tion,” El­liott said.

“That was rat­i­fied at a board meet­ing a month ago, but we’ve been think­ing about that, we ac­tu­ally thought about it last year as well. But we then thought, ‘why wouldn’t we make that an­nounce­ment in the 100th year of the beau­ti­ful Mel­bourne Cup tro­phy?’

“So that’s been on the cards for a long time.”

This year is the 159th cup and marks the 100th an­niver­sary of the three­han­dled cup de­sign.

The Mel­bourne Cup (3200m) is the richest hand­i­cap in the world and the richest stay­ing race.

The $14 mil­lion The Ever­est (1200m) in Syd­ney, which will have its third run­ning this year, is Aus­tralia’s richest race.

Pic­ture: Si­mon Mer­ritt/West­ern Ra­cepix

Peter Knuckey wins aboard Come Play With Me.

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